Chasing After The Wind

As of this morning, I have meditated, briefly, for 16 days in a row. That might not seem like much of an accomplishment, but honestly, there isn’t many postive habits I have stayed with for 16 consecutive days, certainly not going to the gym.

My mind is like a constant display of very short movie trailers. I am either in review of the past or planning the future. On the outside, it would appear that I am a very curious person, a life-long learner, with a wide spectrum of interests. This makes me a fairly interesting person to converse with and an excellent partner to have in  games of Trivia Pursuit. But,…

… there is another side to all of this that meditating regularly has exposed (but was always easily visible to those closest to me.) I have a pretty big anxiety issue. During periods of attempting to become more aware through meditation, I felt like I was being strangled. My elbows, arms, shoulders, wrists, and hands felt like they were shuddering and my throat felt like it was being constricted with invisible fingernails dug into my neck.  One practice in particular is the worse. It is a 15 minute, guided meditation used for addictions, mine being food and mindless eating. During this time, your focus begins slowly moving from your toes and eventually to the top of your head, both sides of your body. (Now that I think about it, they do leave out your private parts…probably wise.) After less than 2 minutes of this tour, I am ready to jump ship. Even writing about it now makes my throat feel like it is closing.

I fessed up to my wife that I was having a big problem and she said that others have commented that I used to have the luxury, prior to losing our place, of being in wide open spaces with lots of available distractions which allowed me to ignore my disagreement with the present moment. I intellectually understood it, yet I didn’t ‘own’ it. I wouldn’t allow myself to emotionally and then spiritually understand what this all meant. I spent my time “chasing after the wind” as noted in the wisdom book, Ecclesiastes – “And I applied my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but chasing after the wind.”  

Where do I go from here? I don’t know. I guess one foot in front of the other. Even now, two and half months after the fire, I continue to have nightmares – all of them including death and murders. There is a saying, “You can run but you cannot hide.”  At some point, you have to let your defenses down, even if it is during sleep, or meditation. Maybe instead of chasing the wind, I should try riding on the wind, or at least stop walking into it.

I write this now because soon I will be back into wide open spaces as we are planning on moving to a house on five acres with a large shop, barn, and horse stalls. I need to continue facing what I have learned from my current small and confined spaces – where the wind is not available to chase.

10 thoughts on “Chasing After The Wind

  1. I started meditating when my mum died Gary, I’m so glad I did as it has got me through so much of my pain over the last couple of years due to my fall, and I now feel like it is part of my life. Like you I have found it very hard to stick to anything for any length of time (keeping up my blog has been a big achievement) but I have somehow really clicked with this form of relaxation and mindfulness. I now find myself breathing differently throughout the day too and find it an amazing tool when I am feeling worried or stressed. Sounds like you have exciting times ahead. I think our journeys may be similar over the coming months but I’m not quite ready to blog about it yet. Am excited for when I do though 🙂

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    1. Very interesting about breathing differently during the day, I will try to be aware of that benefit down the road. (right now I am chewing gum like a cow, so I guess I have a ways to go yet!) really looking forward to reading about your journey in the next few months! if i did my math correct, 64 more days until Spring!!!

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    2. Also, I know it was a couple of years ago, but I also know how much we miss our parents being in our everyday lives…I am sorry for your loss of your mum. From here, I would say that she helped create a wonderful and loving family… and I am so happy you have that new, wonderful grandchild.

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      1. Thank you. I miss her far more than I ever imagined I would. Arlo is the cutest little chunky bundle and if ever I’m feeling down just a look at a photo of him lifts my spirits a cuddle is even better but there are a lot of us wanting those. He looks very much like his dad so that makes me rather proud.

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      2. I know you do, it shows, and that is a wonderful testament to your love. Yes, we are blessed I think with this river of generational love. It is a source of our strength and it is powerful , real, and lasting…even when we drive each other nuts…which for me is a short trip.

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  2. Sorry to hear you are still having nightmares, Gary. I can imagine it will be a long process to move through your PTSD. Great that you started meditation to work on it. A good therapist might help, but it isn’t always easy to find one who knows how to help.
    I have found sitting meditation a challenge as well. My monkey mind jumps around or I fall asleep! I also have anxiety that has increased in recent years, it could be inherent, but who knows? I find slow breathing (Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 counts work) as well as yoga for at least 20 min/day, which is good for body and mind. Walking meditation is the best for me, really calms and clears my head. Nature is a great healer.

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    1. Oh yes, some very wise people have suggested therapy would be helpful. I just hate that beginning part of it all, but….
      I like your idea about yoga. I feel like my body is shrinking up into one giant knot. I am going to try that again-plus if will help my golf game!
      I liked reading Andrew’s books, I am going to look into that technique you suggested.
      I really don’t want to just distract my way out of this..like I usually do.
      Peace my friend,
      Gary

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  3. Love reading your blog and feeling like I’m getting to know you all over again.
    I want to try meditation and need to make a commitment to do that.
    Very excited about the new property! Hope you and Bridget are too.
    You are a gifted writer, I appreciate your honesty and insight.
    The world is better because you are in it my friend. Sleep well.

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